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Education Resources

Principles of Writing Letters from Business Communication of SMU MBA

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Principles of writing letters can make our letters effective. There are some principles of writing effective letters:

Courtesy and Consideration:

The basis of any relationship is built on the strong edifice of feelings for others. Courtesy is like the oil which removes the friction, it makes life smooth and helps win friends. It softens the sting of an unpleasant piece of information, creates goodwill, and produces a favourable response. Look at the following sentences that help you word your business letter in a polite manner.

Many thanks for your letter of…

Thank you very much for your letter of…

We are glad to note that you are now in a position to pay our bill.

We appreciate your writing to us so promptly.

Conciseness: While writing a business letter it is important that your letter be concise and direct. Avoid old fashioned, stuffy phrases and long winded sentences associated with classic formal letter writing. In the present times, people are very busy and will be easily irritated to read unnecessarily lengthy letters. So you should focus directly on the message to be told. Express your idea in straightforward, plan English.

Clarity and Precision: Whenever you write a letter, be clear about what you want to say and say it clearly. Use short, simple words and language to relate whatever you want to tell in the letter. Use concrete words – two words in English will have similar meaning – in such cases, use the word which is commonly understand. E. g.: if you use the word ‘house’ and it conveys the meaning that you intend, don’t use the word ‘residence’ which will make the message more complicated. Avoid long winded sentences. Spare your reader the tedious task of understanding your letter and try to make smaller sentences.

To make your letter clear, break it into different paragraphs when you have to discuss more than one main point. Finally, you have to understand that writing a good business letter involves a lot of practice which will gradually enable you to be an effective writer.

The theory has been taken from MB0023 (Business Communication) book of SMU MBA. Principles of writing letter are written in the sequence of Business letter writing practices.

Business Letter Writing Practices from Business Communication of SMU MBA

Sunday, January 9, 2011

When you enter any profession, you will come across one task that you have to perform which is of utmost importance, writing letters as a part of your routine work. You will be writing letters to other organizations and institutions, customers, clients, suppliers, government officers, credit agencies, employees etc.

These letters are commonly called ‘business letters.’ Business letters are usually written to inform readers of specific information. However, you might also write a business letter to persuade others to take action or to propose your ideas. Business letters can be challenging to write, because you have to consider how to keep your readers’ attention. This is particularly the case if your readers receive large amounts of mail and have little time to read.

Writing business letters is writing any other document: first you must analyze your audience and determine your purpose. Then you gather information, create an outline, write a draft, and revise it. The key to writing business letters is o get to the point as quickly as possible and to present your information clearly.

While doing this you should always bear in mind the ‘audience’ of your letter, the person who is going to read your letter. So your letter should appeal to the reader. The best way of doing this is to put yourself in the shoes of your reader and foresee his reaction on reading your letter. Ask yourself “How would I react if I received this letter?”

The answer to this question will help you to decide about editing your letter. Sir Ernest has remarked aptly while he was advising about handling official correspondence, if he is rude, be especially courteous. If he is muddle-headed, be especially lucid. If he is pig-headed, be patient. If he is helpful, be appreciative. If he convicts you of a mistake, acknowledge it freely and even with gratitude.”

The business letter writing practices chapter has been taken from Business Communication book of SMU MBA MB0023 in the sequence of Elements of Writing and Cohesion in English Grammar.

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